Sundance Institute to Hold Native Filmmaker Summit in Sulphur

By Brus, Brian | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

Sundance Institute to Hold Native Filmmaker Summit in Sulphur


Brus, Brian, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Independent film producers, and Native American Indians, in particular, stand to benefit from an economic realignment following the recession, Bird Runningwater said.

"Just about a year before the recession hit, all the mini major film studios shut down, almost all of them that had an independent specialty division," said Runningwater, director of the Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program. "I feel that nowadays with the proliferation of on-demand digital viewing and technology like iPads, that a major shift in the way that audiences consume content has really impacted the film industry overall.

"The whole financial model has shifted dramatically, and the industry is really trying to catch up," he said. "I think it's beneficial. ... Now that there are so many more options for viewing, there are even more opportunities for Native filmmakers to enter the market. For so long it's been so hard to get Native films released on any screen, especially out in rural areas where so many tribal populations are. That's changing now."

The nonprofit film support organization founded by actor and director Robert Redford is scheduled to hold a Native Filmmaker Summit on Sept. 6 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, its second such event.

The summit will include round-table discussions, short films and presentations from Oklahoma native residents Bird Runningwater, filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and producer Chad Burris, as well as Australian filmmaker Rachel Perkins and Oklahoma State Film Commission Director Jill Simpson.

Simpson said the event will be of interest not only to Native Americans in Oklahoma, but also attract Indians from across the country and indigenous people from as far away as Australia. …

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